Friday, August 20, 2010

Busy Day Salad

The day was long and filled with the sour alertness of an adrenaline rush. I arrived at work two and a half hours early. The building was dark, and I was able to walk through the empty hallways with earphones in my ears without watching where I was going. By the time my coworkers had arrived I was so engrossed in what I was doing that I hardly even noticed them. I almost missed my opportunity to go for an afternoon run, but finally, the job was finished and I looked up at the clock just in time to catch it.

My running partner, Dave, and I slipped on our five fingered running shoes and chatted our way through a 5 mile run. It felt good to leave the hospital behind, dart across the busy highway, and disappear into the shady woods. On our way back he asked me if I was busier than usual.
"Yes, I am incredibly busy. I have no idea how it happened, but all of the sudden I am completely swamped." I replied. As soon as I said them I was aware that the words fit perfectly, like spandex, and carried a similar uneasiness of vulnerability. I continued on, opening the door as I talked,
"I have also recently figured out that if I want to get any paperwork work done I have to go someplace other than work, because ironically, at work there are too many distractions."

The door swung closed behind me and I was face to face with a complete stranger who looked at me, then looked at Dave, and then launched into a long monologue about his favorite fitness instructor at the gym. My mind was reeling with what I needed to get done in the few remaining hours of the day, but my Connecticut upbringing did not supply me with a socially adequate escape plan from such a situation. Politely I smiled and nodded, ever so slightly backing away. He segued into his favorite weight watcher's recipes. Again I was trapped. I tried not to feel resentful. I tried to listen for some inspired message in his words, but my self absorption was too great, my patience spread too thin. My smile betrayed the irritation that was imprisoned by my cultural upbringing. There was no end in sight.

When at last I had a chance to speak, I lifted my hands to gesture and a giant drop of sweat flung off of my wrist and dropped onto the floor by the man's feet. With a horrified expression, he began to back away. I contemplated fighting to keep him interested in the conversation, as a matter of pride, but I resigned to my busy schedule and accepted my freedom and left.

Busy Day Salad
slice heirloom tomatoes
top with fresh basil, a sprinkle of salt, and sliced provolone cheese. Drizzle with olive oil. Serve

Christina's vote: "This salad made me want to lick the plate"

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